2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..


Botanical name:  Myoporum laetum
Maori name:  Ngaio
Height:  10 metres

Ngaio - ripe fruitOften a dome shaped tree with bright green fleshy leaves that are dotted with oil glands. On holding the leaves up to light these are easily seen.

Delicate white flowers, spotted with purple occur between mid spring and mid summer.  B
erries ripen in summer/autumn.

Ngaio is a hardy plant that is salt and wind tolerant – ideal in exposed situations.  It is a rapid shade producer.

Maori used ngaio leaves as an insect repellent. Young shoots or an infusion of leaves were rubbed onto the skin to ward off mosquitoes and sandflies. 

Ngaio timber is said to be valued by cabinetmakers.

The genus Myoporum has about 32 species which range from Mauritius across to Australia, New Zealand Pacific Islands and up to China.
Australia has 16 species, one of which, boobialla (Myoporum insulare) also present in Tasmania, is planted around the lighthouse. The intriguingly named naio (Myoporum sandwicense) from Hawaii has hard durable timer which is used for housing.  Its leaves are used medicinally.

Myoporum species belong in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, which also includes foxgloves and snapdragons. Figworts are a large group of herbs, all in the genus Scrophularia. Many of them were used in folk medicine, especially in the treatment of scrofula (a swelling of lymph nodes in the neck caused by tuberculosis).

Ngaio flowers

Photography by Peter Craw
© (bottom left) and by Neil Davies © (top right)